In what would be a first for public hospitals nationwide, the Royal Perth Hospital will provide patients with electronic prescriptions that can be dispensed at community pharmacies.
A joint project between the Royal Perth Hospital, WA Heath Support Services and the Australian Digital Health Agency, the service will be rolled out across all specialties in the hospital after an initial 12-week trial in haematology, immunology, anesthesia and life sciences. Pain and Gastroenterology and Ambulatory Liver Clinics.
During the trial, registered prescribers can generate an electronic prescription when needed for their patients. Patients will receive a text or email with a token that they can either present in person or submit electronically to their local pharmacy to receive their medication.
Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole said the new service was a major step forward for Western Australian Health and the hospital, as well as for patients.
“This is a fabulous development for hospital outpatients to make life a little easier when they leave the hospital with proven digital technology that will further enhance the reputation of the world-class healthcare system in the country. ‘Western Australia,’ she said.
“At the end of the Royal Perth Hospital trial, there will be a large-scale evaluation involving feedback from patients, clinicians and pharmacists to help inform WA Health’s further roll-out plans.”
Ros Jones, Outpatient Project Manager at Royal Perth Hospital Bentley Group, said: “As we now deliver more healthcare virtually via video and telephone appointments, the ability to also provide patients with their medication scripts via electronically allows us to be much more responsive. Patients receive their script in real time, right away, no more waiting for it to be displayed.
Although this is the first trial of electronic prescriptions in a metropolitan hospital in the country, as of August 10, 2022, nearly 72 million electronic prescriptions have been issued, as healthcare providers and patients see the benefits of going digital.
More than 45,000 prescribers – general practitioners and nurse practitioners – have issued electronic prescriptions to patients and more than 98% of all community pharmacies in the country dispense them.
There were nearly 392,000 records for Active Script Lists, which are a consolidated list of all medications a patient can dispense from their pharmacy.